The Sims 2

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The Sims 2
The Sims 2 cover
Developers
Maxis
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Engines
The Sims 2 Engine
Release dates
Windows September 14, 2004
macOS (OS X) June 13, 2005
The Sims 2 guide at StrategyWiki
The Sims 2 at Wikipedia
The Sims
Subseries of Sim
The Sims 2000
The Sims Online 2002
The Sims 2 2004
The Sims Stories (series)
MySims 2008
The Sims 3 2009
The Sims Medieval 2011
The Sims 4 2014

Key points

Large modding community.
All Origin versions get a free upgrade to The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection (contact EA Support for non-Origin versions).[1]
Although it shipped originally with SecuROM, The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection was updated in November 2017 and no longer uses SecuROM.[2] However, it; along with all other digital releases of the game - were already pulled in August 2014.
The disc version may not run properly on Windows 10 due to issues with SafeDisc and/or SecuROM.[3]

General information

Official Website (archived)
The Sims 2 Official Forums
EA Answer HQ
EA Answer HQ (OS X)
The Sims Wikia

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v3 DRM[Note 1].
Later expansions use v4 or SecuROM 7 DRM.
Windows
Mac App Store
Icon overlay.png
Super Collection.
macOS (OS X)
The Windows version is no longer sold digitally.
All Origin versions are automatically upgraded to The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection. Contact the EA Support for retail versions.[1]
The Ultimate Collection from Origin no longer has SecuROM DRM.[2]

Version differences[edit]

List of all different versions and regions can be found on Wikipedia.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Apartment Life
Windows
Bon Voyage
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Celebration! Stuff
Windows
Family Fun Stuff
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Freetime
Windows
Glamour Life Stuff
Windows
macOS (OS X)
H&M Fashion Stuff Also known as Fashion Stuff in Australia
Windows
Happy Holiday Stuff Also known as Festive Holiday Stuff in Europe
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Happy Holiday Pack Also known as Christmas Party Pack in the UK and Ireland and Holiday Party Pack in Australia
Windows
macOS (OS X)
IKEA Home Stuff
Windows
Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff
Windows
Mansion & Garden Stuff
Windows
Nightlife
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Open for Business
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Pets
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Seasons
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Teen Style Stuff
Windows
University
Windows
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements[edit]

In-game camera and game recording settings.
In-game camera and game recording settings.

Patches[edit]

Retail versions of the base game, expansions, and the Family Fun Stuff pack require patching after installation. The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection on Origin is already patched.
Although the game's patch site has now gone down, many expansion pack patches are available from the PCGamingWiki filespace.
The patch notes can be found here here

Skip intro videos[edit]

Delete or rename video files[6]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\TSData\Res\Movies\ealogo_audio.movie (base game)
  2. Go to <path-to-game>\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Movies\ealogo_audio.movie (Ultimate Collection)
  3. Go to <path-to-game>\Double Deluxe\Base\TSData\Res\Movies\intro_eng_audio.movie (Ultimate Collection)
  4. Delete or rename all instances of intro_eng_audio.movie and ealogo_audio.movie

Improved view distances[edit]

Remove fog[7]
  1. Open cheat console with Ctrl+ Shift+C.
  2. Type boolprop dontMergeNHFlora false and uintProp lotSkirtSizeIncrease 120
You can load the cheats whenever you start the game by placing them in the configuration file

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\TSData\Res\Config
macOS (OS X)
<path-to-game> changes according to what expansions you have installed. For example, if you have Ultimate Collection or all expansions path would be ...\Fun with Pets\SP9\...

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\
macOS (OS X)

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Origin
Ultimate Collection now requires Origin running to play.

Video settings[edit]

In-game graphics settings.
In-game graphics settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
The text, UI elements and loading screen does not scale with resolution.[8]
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed
Use -w parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use a utility such as GameCompanion together with the windowed hack.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Can be forced in driver control panel
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Smooth Edges slider; if the setting are greyed out see Anti-aliasing (AA).
Vertical sync (Vsync)
On by default.
Can be disabled by Ctrl+ Shift+C and vsync off but may crash the game.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Refresh rate options goes up to 100.[citation needed]
Windowed mode correctly uses desktop's refresh rate even higher than that.[citation needed]
Color blind mode

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Fixes common issues like graphics settings being disabled or not getting applied on newer GPUs, and black square Sim shadows. Adds widescreen support.
Download Graphics Rule Maker[citation needed]
  1. Go here and download and install Graphics Rules Maker
  2. Open the program and select The Sims 2 in the Game dropdown menu. If it doesn't automatically find the game, browse to your latest installed expansion/stuff pack
  3. Modify the settings under Game Tweaks in order to fix what you want.
  4. Press Save Files... and click Yes in the window that appears
If despite using the tool you still can not run above 800x600 resolution, or the game is locked to 4:3 aspect ratio, see 800x600 resolution fix
If you intend on using the Sim Shadow Fix described in the Black Square Shadows section of this article, don't enable Enable Sim Shadows on Graphics Rule Maker or it won't work.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Each of the game's cameras can have their FOV set independently using the fov parameter in their Camera Settings files, which are contained in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Cameras\

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

If your "Edge Smoothing" slider is greyed out in-game, then it's likely that the game cannot determine how much VRAM your GPU has and is defaulting to its failsafe of 32 MB.
Raise amount of fallback value[citation needed]
  1. Navigate to the configuration file location.
  2. Open Graphics Rules.sgr.
  3. Find the following section:
    if (not $useSoftwareRasterizer)
       # failed to obtain device texture memory size, force to 32 MB
       if ($textureMemory = 0)
          seti textureMemory       32
       endif
    and change seti textureMemory to the value of your GPU's VRAM in megabytes.

Notes

This makes game use your VRAM amount as fallback value. Do not put value higher than actual VRAM amount is!

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.

Audio settings[edit]

Alt-tabbing may not work properly during the game's loading screens.
In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Voices, sound effects, music and ambience.
Surround sound
Stereo, 4.0 and 5.1
Subtitles
No intelligible dialog. All in-game dialog uses the fictional Simlish language.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Thai
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Issues fixed[edit]

Vista/7 Compatibility[edit]

The Sims 2 is compatible with newer versions of Windows, however the original release of the game has issues, and will show an error message when loaded.
Patching the game or installing the expansion packs will correct this.

Game stuck in 800x600 resolution, or 4:3 aspect ratio[edit]

Force fullscreen windowed mode+texture memory[citation needed]
  1. Download & Install Graphics Rules Maker.
  2. In Graphics Rules Maker, set the 'Force texture memory' to 4000 Mb (if your game crashes, try lowering this value).
  3. Change 'Default resolution:' and 'Maximum resolution:' to your desired resolution.
  4. Click 'Save Files...'
  5. Right click the desktop shortcut to Sims 2 and open the properties
  6. Add -w to the end of the target path.
  7. The game will open windowed, change the resolution in-game to your desired resolution.
  8. Use a borderless fullscreen tool to make the game fullscreen.

Stuck Sims/Poorly Placed Objects/Frozen Objects[edit]

Periodically, a sim may become trapped or a special object may be placed in a bad location, preventing a sim from doing anything. In other cases, a normal object may be improperly tagged as "in use" and cannot be moved, sold, or manipulated.
Use this cheat carefully. Some objects like the mail box cannot be replaced once deleted.
Use "moveobjects" cheat code[citation needed]
  1. Open cheat console with Ctrl+ Shift+C.
  2. Type moveobjects on and enter buy mode.
  3. Move the object to another location.
  4. Restore game back to normal with moveobjects off

Black Square Shadows[edit]

Use custom config file[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file location
  2. Make backup of Graphics Rules.sgr and paste content provided here

Notes

This method may allow setting shadows to high but don't fix the problem (making the shadows work correctly just make it dissapear as disabling it to render in the options...)
Download Sim Shadow Fix(Square Shadow Fix)[citation needed]
  1. Go here and download the file that suits your preferences (0.2 shadows are more opaque, 0.4 more transparent and 0.3 are in between).
  2. Extract the .package file inside the zip file you downloaded to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
If you're using an Intel HD Graphics card, the author recommends downloading the xReallyNotMisty versions of the fix.

Neighbourhoods inaccessible in Ultimate Collection[edit]

Remove ™ in registry key[citation needed]
  1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
  2. Find the EA GAMES folder and open The Sims 2. Change the Display Name, Deleting the ™ out.
  3. Before the entry should look like this : The Sims 2™ Ultimate Collection
  4. After it should say: The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection

Issues on newer CPUS[edit]

The Sims 2 was made before the release of multi-core CPUs. It may have issues at the startup loading screen on newer CPUs with multiple cores and Hyperthreading. Try following if The Sims 2 does not progress in loading at startup.
Set affinity[citation needed]
  1. Run the game.
  2. Open Task Manager, and right-click the game's process. Click "Go to details".
  3. Right-click The Sims 2's process under details and click Set Affinity.
  4. Untick all CPUs except CPU 0.

Notes

Setting is not saved and needs to be repeated after startup whenever necessary.
With the Ultimate Collection or any installation with many Stuff and Expansion packs, the initial loading screen will always take some time due to the amount of content included.

"More..." button does not work in conversations[edit]

This issue is caused by using a mouse when playing on a laptop with a touchpad. It is solved by either:

  • Disabling the touchpad whilst playing The Sims 2, if possible.
  • Using the touchpad to play instead of a mouse.

If playing on a PC Desktop it is solved by:

  • Pressing tab when selecting options in the pie menu

Low quality neighborhood terrain[edit]

Enable high quality neighborhood terrain
  1. Navigate to the configuration file location.
  2. Open Graphics Rules.sgr.
  3. Find the following section:
           boolProp simpleTerrain              true
    and change true to false.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
64-bit executable

Mods[edit]

The Sims 2 attracted a large modding community, allowing further customization features. Unfortunately, even properly designed mods could increase the chances of crashes and errors in the game. Mods have a major impact on loading time and stability, and should be used with discretion if you are having issues with the game.

Official Tools[edit]

These tools created by Maxis and formerly hosted on the games official website.
  • BodyShop (Demo) - This will allow you to create custom sims, hair and clothes
The Sims 2 and the BodyShop Demo should not be installed on the same machine at the same time. Existing save games may corrupt and other issues may arise

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98SE, ME, 2000 XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) 800 MHz 2.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 GB 15 GB (with all DLC installed)
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 7200
Nvidia GeForce2 Series
32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9 compatible
ATI Radeon 9600
Nvidia GeForce 6 series
64 MB of VRAM
When the Seasons (or Later) Expansion Pack is installed, T&L incompatible graphics chips can be used;[9] however it requires a Minimum CPU speed of 2.4 GHz.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.3.8
Processor (CPU) 1.2 GHz PowerPC G4/G5
System memory (RAM)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 9000
Nvidia GeForce FX5200
32 MB of VRAM

Notes

  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[4] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[5]

References